2019 Hyundai Sonata Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Speed control, headlights and engine issues among the top complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones

There aren’t a lot of mid-size cars on the market these days as more people opt to drive an SUV instead. Yet, the 2019 Hyundai Sonata continues to be a popular option, even in the competitive segment. The automaker claims that this model is “smart from every angle,” which might prove why owners keep choosing this car. Yet, reports suggest that this car isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, especially with the faulty engine, poor exterior lighting and defective vehicle speed control.

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Problems with the Engine?

The 2019 Hyundai Sonata is no race car by any means, but it still needs to have a durable engine in order to provide reliability to today’s busy families. Sadly, the complaints suggest something entirely different.

One NHTSA review states, “2019 Sonata 2.0T with just over 11K miles on it began to suddenly shudder and want to stall at low RPM or at the stop. OBDII error code P0302. Dealership said cylinder 2 had little to no compression and needed repair. Could barely limp vehicle to dealership and smell the unburned fuel being ported out of the exhaust.”

This isn’t the only engine problem the Sonata faces. Service Bulletin #19-AT-019H suggests that there have also been troubles with the oil pressure harness and integrated oil temperature sensor. Maybe the car looks smart, but one glance under the engine simply reveals an engine that is falling apart at the seams.

2019 Hyundai Sonata Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Engine
33
33
Unknown Or Other
19
19
Exterior Lighting
17
17
Electrical System
9
9
Air Bags
7
7
Fuel/propulsion System
4
4
Power Train
4
4
Structure:body
4
4
Lane Departure: Blind Spot Detection
3
3
Seat Belts
3
3

Problems with the Headlights?

While the engine is busy failing, we turn our sights to the visibility. It turns out that the 2019 Sonata has another serious issue that’s causing trouble for owners that want to drive at night.

Listen to this NHTSA review. “While driving my 2019 Hyundai Sonata after dark I suddenly viewed a rather large black mass and thinking it could be a person I jammed on the brakes. With the car now in Parked status I realized that the black mass was created by the headlights. A frightening event and if a car was in back of me a severe accident could have occurred.”

What’s interesting is that Hyundai has not posted any service bulletins regarding this problem on the Sonata. Yet, they have talked about it with other vehicles in the lineup. Other than offering a solution to this problem, the engineers express that the headlights were explicitly designed this way to increase visibility. They confirm that there is nothing wrong with them and basically tell owners to get used to it. Is it smart then to drive this car at night? That’s one angle it doesn’t look good from.

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Problems with the Vehicle Speed Control?

Another vital system in any vehicle is the speed control. After all, if a driver isn’t able to moderate the speed, anything could occur.

This NHTSA review expresses this dangerous situation. “I have leased this car since 1/16/2019 until 4/14/2019. Start first with lower the speed and power just a little bit. Then 4/14/19, the car lower the speed by itself, start shaking up, limp, shows the engine light and the speed control light in conjunction with slippery control light. Then stay at ‘Temporary Engine Protection Mode’ losing speed and can’t drive safely. Just park the car at the safe parking lot to tow it to the nearest Hyundai dealer for inspection or repair. It can be dangerous for other drivers.”

This is a dangerous situation that Hyundai would undoubtedly want to address but guess what. There’s nothing from their camp regarding any trouble with the vehicle speed control. This owner’s problem could have been an engine malfunction, transmission fault or electrical failure. There’s no telling what happened, but it’s likely occurring for other owners. It would have been helpful to receive some guidance from the company that put this defective car together. In order to be considered a vehicle with a “smart” design, it would require that the automaker pay closer attention to the major components. After all, this Sonata can’t seem to drive at consistent speeds, illuminate the road ahead or run on all cylinders.

Your Lemon Law Legal Rights

Think you have a lemon? Sit back and let the experts work out your lemon case at no cost to you. The law makes Kia pay legal fees. You may be able to get your lemon out of your life. Every year, auto manufacturers buy back, replace or pay cash settlements to thousands of ‘lemon’ owners like you.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

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